Archive | July, 2009

Wisdom Teeth and Dentist Culture

I found an interesting article today on how the “Culture of research led to changes in extraction of wisdom teeth.” The article addressed wisdom teeth removal surgery in the United Kingdom (UK) and how this has changed over time. An interesting tidbit is there were 130,000 surgical extraction procedures conducted in England and Wales in 1995.  By 2002, this number had fallen to less than 60,000. The reason was because of research and learning from evidence. There is no benefit to extracting  healthy impacted wisdom teeth since the procedure caries the risk of damage to facial nerves. It is unfortunate that a similar policy has not been implemented in the United States. On a lighter note, another website discusses deranged dentist names. It is not exactly clear were some of the readers are from, however, some of them are amusing. For example, The guy who pulled my wisdom teeth (to create more room in my mouth) was named  Dr. Widner (pronounced “widener”). And I had a dentist a few years ago named Dr. Roach.

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Orange Juice Bad For Teeth

Researchers at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health wanted to see the negative effects on the tooth from using whitening products. Eastman Institute’s YanFang Ren, DDS, PhD, and his researchers looked at the effects of 6 percent hydrogen peroxide which the common ingredient in professional and over-the-counter whitening product. They also looked at acidic fruit juices and found that orange juice markedly decreased hardness and increased roughness of tooth enamel. The researchers found that the acid is so strong that the tooth is literally washed away. The orange juice decreased enamel hardness by 84 percent.” However, no significant change in hardness or surface enamel was found when they looked at teeth whitening products. Weakened and eroded enamel may speed up the wear of the tooth and increases the risk for tooth decay. Like soda and acidic fruit juices orange juice can potentially cause significant erosion of teeth.” It’s long been known that juice and sodas have high acid content, and can negatively affect enamel hardness. There are also some studies that showed whitening can affect the hardness of dental enamel, but until now, nobody had compared the two. It is important for consumers to understand the acidic nature of beverages, […]

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Migraine in Midlife Can Cause Increased Lesions Later in Life

A new study shows that middle-aged women who had migraine headaches with aura had a higher prevalence of brain lesions when older. Recent studies suggest migraine attacks may be associated with brain lesions identified on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), particularly in the cerebellum, according to background information in the article. Ann I. Scher, Ph.D., and colleagues examined the relationship of midlife migraine symptoms and late-life infarct (tissue death)-like lesions evident on MRI. The study included 4,689 men and women in Reykjavik, Iceland who were followed-up since 1967, examined, and interviewed about migraine symptoms in midlife. Between 2002 and 2006, more than 26 years later, brain MRIs were performed. Participants reporting headaches once or more per month were asked about migraine symptoms and were classified as having migraine without aura, migraine with aura, or nonmigraine headache. A comprehensive cardiovascular risk assessment was performed at examinations. Infarct-like lesions were present on MRI in 39.3 percent of men and 24.6 percent of women. After adjusting for age, sex, and follow-up time, participants with midlife migraine with aura were at increased risk for total infarct-like lesions. Lesions in the cerebellum, but not in other locations of the brain, were more prevalent in women with […]

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Oral Surgeon Sexual Assault Acquittal

Last month I reported on sexual assault and how it has crept up into some oral surgeons offices during wisdom teeth removal. Well, recently there was another sexual assault case against an oral surgeon in the courts. Dr. Robert J. Boyda was accused of sexual assault by 17 women who testified as such in trial. However, the judge determined that he believed the women “thought” they were sexually assaulted due to the drugs that they were on. One of the drugs was stated to have “sexual hallucinations” in rare cases. The drug in question is propofol. I question whether or not you can really test if a sexual hallucination is a side effect in rare cases. You would certainly need an honest surgeon. This of course raises the issue of whether or not you should have anesthesia when you undergo surgery. A patient certainly does not want to be sexually assaulted and then have the sexual assaulter get away with it as may have happened with Robert J. Boyda’s case. We may never know if the sexual assault occurred but for know Robert J. Boyda is found not guilty. Perhaps it is necessary to further test propofol and more accurately […]

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Treating Gum Disease Helps Rheumatoid Arthritis

Researchers from the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine and University Hospitals of Cleveland recently reported that people who cure their gum disease can decreased their arthritic pain if they surrfer from rheumatoid arthritis. “It was exciting to find that if we eliminated the infection and inflammation in the gums, then patients with a severe kind of active rheumatoid arthritis reported improvement on the signs and symptoms of that disease,” said Nabil Bissada, D.D.S. According to Ali Askari, M.D., chair of the department of rheumatology at University Hospitals, “From way back, rheumatologists and other clinicians have been perplexed by the myth that gum disease may have a big role in causing systematic disease.” Askari and Bissada are part of a team of researchers that studied 40 patients with  periodontal disease and a severe form of rheumatoid arthritis. The study results should prompt rheumatologists to encourage their patients to be aware of the link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis, says Askari. Bissada notes that gum disease tends to be prevalent in rheumatoid arthritis patients. Both inflammatory diseases share similarities in the progression of the disease over time. In both diseases, the soft and hard tissues are destroyed from […]

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